The silver hairpin

The royal family had two beautiful twin daughters. One day, the family was to receive a visit from a foreign prince. For propriety’s sake it was agreed he would marry the older sister. To distinguish them without embarrassing the prince, the older sister was to wear a silver hairpin.

When the prince showed up, however, the younger sister fell in love with him and begged her sister to give her the pin to wear so he would court her instead.

But the older sister refused on the grounds that it would not be proper, and she did not want to give up on the status the marriage would grant her. The younger sister cursed her, willing the pin to prick the bride’s cold and toxic heart and poison the union with the prince.

Stung by her sister’s curse, the older twin locked herself into her room and let the tears flow freely, liberating years of regret, expectations and resentment. In the end, she looked into her mirror, washed away the hot tears and took the pin from her hair. She knew what she had to do to atone.

She walked into the salon with new composure and called her sister to her in private. The younger sister was wary until the older fixed the silver hairpin into her hair and told her to go marry the prince. Overjoyed, the younger twin arranged her hair and rushed back to the salon, leaving her sister standing.

When the hairpin was found in the prince’s household, it was stuck in his chest next to the dagger.


Dispatches from anywhere but the front – First dispatch

Dear Councillor Loderig,


As you have encouraged me to keep you informed about His Majesty’s role in the war effort and possible avenues of progress for our own counsel of somewhat fading illustriousness, I am hereby sending you the first dispatch from, well, not precisely the front.

As it turns out, His Majesty King Andron is not too fond of direct action involving the enemy.


What he is fond of is a tiny blonde hand-maiden named Gabrila that our party picked up in a village along the way.

Before her, there was a tiny blonde baker named Matia, and before that a tiny blonde elf named something complicated; I did not catch her profession.


As for the reports of His Majesty’s heroic deeds on the battlefield, perhaps you will remember a young blonde bard named Ridevig, of somewhat slight physical stature.

He is an avid collector of all things war-correspondence with an admirable interest in the details of warfare and current events and a knack for chronicling and embellishment. Less favourably inclined tongues mutter that his interest in the front lines exceeds that of His Majesty, but surely any loyal subject to the crown and the kingdom will recognize the same loyalty in him and his eager wish to entertain and please his liege with tales close to His Majesty’s own valiant heart.


The enemy seems to have been spotted by the Lenver Mountains, and I suppose it will be useful to send your reply to Galfore, a charming and secluded settlement to the north-west of them and separated from the mountain range by a torrential stream that may unfortunately delay our party’s progress towards the likely battlegrounds.


Yours faithfully,


Sub-Councillor of the Hirdsingen Mage Council